US observes National Mesothelioma Awareness Day

September 28th, 2011

September 26th marks National Mesothelioma Awareness Day in the United States. The national event was created in 2004 to raise public awareness for mesothelioma, which affects between 3,000 and 5,000 people in the United States every year.

Observance of Mesothelioma Awareness Day includes national television appearances by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation as well as scheduled 5K runs and bike races throughout the United States. The goal of the events is to increase support for mesothelioma research, which is largely underfunded in the cancer community.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer linked exclusively to asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a building material that was most popular between the 1940s and 1970s. Because mesothelioma can take up to 50 years to develop, many patients who were exposed to asbestos in their working conditions are just now starting to see the symptoms. As a result, the likelihood of a mesothelioma diagnosis has increased steadily over the past decade.

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